Before I directly experienced the walk through hell that is required to obtain an approved voter ID, I wondered: what is the big deal? Like the majority of Americans and especially Texans, I was uninformed.
Experience is the best teacher.
My son will vote for the first time in this election. Although he has a student photo ID issued by his college, that form of photo ID is not approved for voting. To obtain his student photo ID, we had to supply the following documentation to prove his identity:
- Social Security Card
- Birth Certificate
- Medical Shot Records
- Proof of Residency
- Educational Transcripts
But, that’s not good enough to vote in Texas.
We arrived at the Texas Department of Public Safety TDPS in Plano, Texas before noon late last June. The temperature was 109 degrees.
I was instantly irritated because the building was packed and I could hear “Time Suck” reverberating in my brain. We had to stand in a long line to take a number to be served.
In the line with us were mostly frail, confused elderly people, some of whom had a younger person to assist them, African Americans and Hispanics–mostly laborers–a few Asians and a very few of us white folks. The too few chairs lined up in the waiting area were filled with the same mix of humanity.
For over 30 minutes our line inched forward while I watched the frazzled TDPS worker turn away many people because they did not possess all the required documents to prove who they have been for many decades.
The elderly were distraught. For most, the driving days were over and they only needed the ID so they could vote. They had arranged for someone to take time out of their day to assist them. I wondered how many of them would be able to recreate this assistance and return with the proper required documents and how many would just give up.
Most of the the African Americans and Hispanics presented the required documents, were given their numbers and funneled to the waiting room. But I wondered how these workers could afford to take a half day off work for this. It was unlikely that their employers allowed the comp time that I was using. How many chose to work instead of spending half a day at the TDPS because their families depend on that half-day of income to keep eating?
When we were about half way through the get-your-number-here line, a TDPS employee was stationed at the door to tell people they would not be allowed in because the building was at capacity. They could line up along the sidewalk in the 109 degree heat and wait for a space inside to open up. The outside wait time was more than an hour.
We didn’t have all the documents needed although I brought the documents the TDPS online site said I would need. My state issued drivers license that shows my address was not enough to prove residency. Fortunately, I ran to the car to retrieved my insurance card. We took our number and waited.
Babies cried because they were hungry or thirsty. The elderly fretted and needed assistance with the public restroom. The workers stared with vacant eyes or plucked bits of the lawn they has just mowed off their clothing. It was hot and there were not nearly enough chairs. But we were inside in the semi air conditioning while the outside line grew longer and longer.
Four hours after we entered the building we had a temporary ID card with the promise that the permanent one would follow in the mail.
How many college students are away from home with no transportation to the DPS?
How many elderly have no one to drive them and assist them?
How many laborers cannot take off work for a half-day?
How many Americans cannot afford the cost?
How is this not voter suppression?
UPDATE: BURNING IRONY
Republican Staffers Charged With 36 Counts of Election Fraud
The party of voter ID laws may need to clean up their own house first when it comes to election fraud.
By Augusta ChristensenSeptember 20, 2012
The cognitive dissonance bordering on willful delusion has become the hallmark of Republican policies and rhetoric. Expecting this heinous fraud to bring the GOP back to reality would be wishful thinking at this point, but at least one corrupt Congressman is now out of a job.
Another UPDATE: County Clerk’s office is trying to register only Romney voters.
Apparently this young woman might have been confused about who was paying her to register voters. Still, targeting voters of a certain party… wrong. Source
The fraud allegations have been confirmed. Don’t miss the comments below. =) So entertaining.